DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are asking anyone with information about the deadly shooting of Kim Phok to contact investigators. Phok, 61, was found shot in her vehicle on Interstate 70 on the morning of April 20 and died four days later. Police still don’t know who shot her or why.
“The thing that is really going through my mind is how much I love her. How much the family loves her and how much we’ll miss her,” said Chhom Seng, her elder son. “She was a great woman, a great loss to the family.”
Someone who works in the area called police that morning and officers found Phok’s SUV pulled over before the Colorado Boulevard exit ramp on westbound I-70. Police found her in a white 2009 Acura MDX. Police say she complained that she was experiencing “stomach pains.” They discovered that her vehicle had been shot multiple times.
“The motive for the shooting is not known and an offender has not been identified at this point,” Lt. Matt Clark said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Phok regularly commuted to work early in the morning, including the day she was shot. Living in northeast Denver, she often traveled around the Denver metro area for work. The call of shots fired came in before 5 a.m. that Monday. Her son told CBS4 it wasn’t unusual for her to work odd hours, which concerned the family but she never had any issues in the 15 years she was making that commute. He said his mother will be remembered as a loving member of their family.
“How kind and generous person she was. She always helped people,” Seng said of his mother. “Everyone in the family loved her. Everyone at work loved her.”
The family is originally from Cambodia and escaped the Khmer Rouge communist party ruling the country in the 1970s. They arrived to the U.S. as refugees and eventually settled in Colorado. Seng says his mother could not speak English when she came to this country. He says she worked hard to build a better life for everyone, buying a house, and helping Seng get through college.
“It is our home, her family’s home,” he said of Colorado.
Investigators are reviewing video from businesses nearby and traffic cameras on the highway. They want anyone who might have dashboard camera video to contact Denver police.
The department has been asked whether this was a bias-motivated crime because it was a shooting of an Asian woman during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s no information to suggest that at this point. The investigators are continuing considering all possible motives,” Clark said Tuesday.
If you have any information you’re urged to call police or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
“She did not deserve this, not at all, no one deserves this, just to be gunned down randomly like this,” Seng said.